Stranded In The Southland

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

San Francisco versus Los Angeles

Okay, so I spent a few days up in San Francisco with my sweetie, as a mini-vacation. We'd been planning this for some time, but our plans were somewhat disrupted by the last minute trip to DC to help out with my new nephew. Anyway, despite my cold, lack of sleep, and just all around tiredness, I had a great time. I really miss San Francisco.

First of all, the people are so much weirder, while seeming so much chiller about my weirdness. I mean, as usual, I feel like I'm not nearly weird enough for anybody in San Francisco. I know I'm far, far too geeky for Los Angeles.

Just being in a city is so wonderful. There's so much going on, and there are so many interesting people all around. There are so many weird and wonderful shops to check out, so many used book stores, so many funky strange things to see!

I know that there has got to be similar stuff in LA, but I just haven't found it yet. I guess I need to look harder. I just miss living in San Francisco so much.

LA people (well, Inland Empire people) are friendly, and more polite, but they somehow feel more removed. I don't have really close connections with people down here the way I did up in Silicon Valley, but maybe I need to give 'em time. The real problem is that I just can't take the sprawl. Cities just go on forever and ever and ever. Driving sucks. OTOH, I do love the mountains.

Waking Up At the Friggin' Crack Of Dawn

Okay, so the whole trip to the east coast was a bit of a last-minute affair, and I couldn't get too picky about when I left. So my flight to Washington left at 6:50AM, west coast time. I was up at 4:30AM. My sweetie, because she loves me, and because she is a sicko morning person, got up at 5AM to make me sandwiches.

That wasn't so bad. I've been staggering out of bed early for hikes for awhile now, so I knew I could make it. However, getting up at 4AM on the east coast to get another flight back at 6:40AM nearly broke me. For those who are playing along at home, that's 1AM, west coast time!

I got to the airport, got on my plane, and sorta drowsed through two flights. With my cold, my sinuses were killing me, and I could barely hear. I managed to catch BART up to San Francisco, and hook up with my baby, who was there for a conference. But I was definitely out of it. I staggered through the day, and crashed at 9PM.

I will never again do this to myself, unless I have a very comfy bed waiting for me at the end of the flight. It was just so painful to make it through a day feeling hollow and disconnected and just all-around nasty. Especially when I was visiting one of my favorite cities. Doh!

A Week in DC With A New Baby

I spent the last week in LA with my sister's new baby, my first nephew (in fact, the first of the next generation). Pwhew! When I first showed up, I just saw him as yet another baby. He's a pleasant baby, easy to care for, but I still just felt a little detached. By the time I left, I was cooing away with the best of 'em.

I was surprised at how easy it was to deal with diapers and all the rest -- these modern disposables are mind-bogglingly cheap, and covered in velcro so they are stunningly easy to use. I changed a fair number of the diapers, and it just wasn't a problem. Of course, new-borns are supposed to produce crap that is very easy to deal with; apparently it'll get tougher as time goes on.

I stayed up late just one night with the new baby, and mostly just helped during the days, driving around my sister, shopping, calming the baby down, and all that. I know I skipped out on the really hard part -- I can't imagine getting up every two hours to feed the baby. Yeesh.

Other than getting a cold and giving it to the baby, it was all fun. I was glad to leave after a week, but I enjoyed it while I was there. I don't want a baby of my own, but I'm perfectly happy for other folks to crank 'em out.